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R&D: the investments of Cargill in Chile

InvestChile - November,6,2018

The company was one of the pioneers of the successful use of Chile’s Research and Development Law, a tax incentive that seeks to improve firms’ ability to compete. 


With a presence in 70 countries and more than 155,000 employees worldwide, Cargill is one of the leading companies in the manufacture and marketing of feed for aquaculture.

The company arrived in Chile in 2015 after acquiring EWOS and has consolidated its position in the south of the country where it has a manufacturing plant in Coronel in the Bío Bío Region, a distribution center and offices in Puerto Montt and a fish health innovation center in the coastal town of Colaco (Cargill Innovation Center Colaco) in the Los Lagos Region.

"We serve the salmon industry offering diets for all the cultivation cycles as well as products that support the health of the fish. We have recently also begun small-scale production of feed for prawns. We market our products in Chile and also export to other markets such as Colombia, South Korea and Peru,” indicated the Managing Director of Cargill Chile, Hugo Contreras. “Our main focus is on providing healthy seafood for future generations,” he added.

Research and Development

In Chile, Cargill was one of the pioneers of the successful use of the country’s Research and Development Law, better known as the R&D Law. This is a tax incentive that seeks to improve companies’ competitiveness by allowing them to set 35% of expenditure on R&D against corporate income tax.

“We started working with this tool in 2009 and have so far certified more than 30 projects under this law and, this year, hope to certify five new projects,” reported Contreras.

According to the company, public support has been essential for its development in Chile. With a focus on R&D, it was able to access support from the government’s Economic Development Agency (CORFO), using mainly its Integrated Promotion Initiatives (IFI) line of financing, within the framework of the company’s technological investment program.

The aim of this project was to develop and increase Cargill’s market share, both in Chile and overseas; carry out research and generate knowledge that helps to ensure the well-being of farmed fish; contribute to the development of advanced human capital by working with universities and other technology centers; and, through different instruments, implement a system for the development of suppliers and entrepreneurs producing functional ingredients for feed.

“Our experience has been very positive and has enabled us to continue developing with the support of other public sector tools such as Technological Contracts, Innova Bío Bío and, as the main support, the tax incentive,” explained Contreras.

The Cargill Innovation Center Colaco is the largest private investment ever made in Chile in an innovation center devoted to fish health. Representing an investment of more than US$10 million, it has had a huge impact on the entire aquaculture industry through innovation and the development of technology to combat the main diseases that affect fish around the world.

Chile is the world’s second largest salmon producer after Norway. In the first nine months of this year, Chile’s food exports showed annual growth of 12%, reaching US$7,425 million. Within this group, salmon exports, at US$3,314 million, marked a new record and were followed by mollusks and crustaceans (US$570 million) and fish oil (US$111 million).

Would you like to know more about innovation in the Chilean food industry? Read this article.

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Topics: Food Industry- biotechnology- R+D Law- Innovation



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